At first glance you’d think it was obvious. What is the shittiest five seconds of my day? Because the exact same thing happens every single day.
I was a lifeguard for many, many years. After that I still sat at the pool more hours than a girl working two jobs should be able to squeeze out of a summer. You’d think I’d wise up eventually, get out of the sun. But instead I moved to the beach. Needless to say my skin has suffered. I was careful about putting sunscreen on my face, around my eyes, on my chest. All the places I didn’t want to see freckles become age spots.
Somehow I managed to overlook my arms completely.
And now, some twenty years after my first job as a lifeguard the sunspots on my arms give me pause. Daily. They don’t remind me to put on sunscreen. Not at all.
They make me stop and think. Oh man. I have shit on my arm.
And every single day I try to wipe them off. This might seem absurd if it were not that I do get shit on my hand, on my leg (as I sit on the floor, Lucy between my legs wiggling through a diaper change) every day.
I’d planned on writing today about the perspective that is gained by having children. I knew that I’d view all kinds of things differently through the lens of motherhood. But I had not imagined that I’d see the signs of aging on my arms and think “well at least it isn’t poop!” and smile. And yet that’s exactly how it plays out.
But today that was not the shittiest five seconds of my day. Today there were five entire seconds that were worse than thinking I was aging too quickly OR that I had shit on my arm.
Lucy slept through our trip to the grocery store. She blinked for a moment as I pushed the cart in to the cart wrangling area in the parking lot. I managed to carry all the grocery bags back to my trunk in one trip. It was bitter cold when I got home. And I startled myself by setting off the house alarm when I got back. I had forgotten that I had set it. I ran back out to the car to get the groceries and Lucy, it was so very cold out. And windy.
I grabbed a few grocery bags in one arm and looked in to the back seat. Her car seat wasn’t there. I ran back inside. In to the kitchen. Not there. In to the living room, not there. What had been small tears when I was at my car had become big, Lifetime movie tears in a matter of seconds, “Luuuucyyyy!!!!” I cried out. Fisher barked. And I ran back towards the door to close it, the last thing I needed was for Fish to take off running.
All I could see in my mind was her sweet face, blinking in wide eyed amazement at the wind in the parking lot, in her car seat, in the grocery store parking lot.
As I closed the door to the driveway I laughed…. there she was, sound asleep. In her seat. Next to the litter box. Right where I put her when the alarm started beeping. Which was probably an awful lot worse than had I actually left her in the parking lot for twenty minutes.
As much as I wanted to pull her out of her seat and wrap her little arms around my neck, squeeze her and tell her that I love her with everything I am…. I put away the groceries, cleaned all three bathrooms and folded two loads of laundry before she woke up. Oh, and emptied the litter box. Since my sweet girl was gonna nap in the guest bath room.
And today…. THAT was the shittiest five seconds of my day. I am fairly certain it aged me more than the sun ever did.